Ex-Maccabi Haifa defender headed to English Premier League.
By ALLON SINAI
Dekel Keinan is on the verge of completing his transfer to Premier League new boys Blackpool after going through a medical at the club on Thursday.The 25-year-old, who will move on a free transfer after deciding not to renew his contract at Maccabi Haifa, will become manager Ian Holloway’s first summer signing, subject to the Israel defender securing a work permit.“This will be a marvelous opportunity for me and the chance to succeed is in my own hands,” said Keinan.Keinan came through the Haifa youth system and has been the anchor of the team’s defense for the past four seasons.Since making his debut for the Israel national team three years ago, Keinan has also become a key member of the blue-andwhite, playing in six of the side’s 10 World Cup qualifiers.Last week, Keinan bid farewell to the club which became his second home.“Maccabi Haifa is like a family for me,” he said. “It is not easy for me to leave. This club is more than just a work place.AdvertisementThis is the place in which I grew and experienced the most amazing achievements a player could dream of.”In other local soccer news, Hapoel Tel Aviv remains hopeful of adding Israel international Ben Sahar to its squad.The 20-year-old hasn’t played as much as he expected at Spanish club Espanyol, which he joined last summer, and is hoping to return to Israel after being told by coach Mauricio Pochettino that he will not be guaranteed playing time in the coming campaign.Sahar has already agreed personal terms with Hapoel, but the Reds have yet to come to an understanding with Espanyol regarding his release from the club.
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